(By the way, Carl Levin's even creakier brother Sander was just re-elected to a 17th term in the House of Representatives. I expect Mark Steyn would view the nearly-perpetual-legislator Levin brothers as prime specimens of what Steyn calls "this country's depraved political class.")
Gehrke wrote up the interview Monday with the title Top Democrat: GOP Can Withhold Funding For Obama’s Amnesty Orders. There's nothing really startling about this — I doubt if it was news to Gehrke — except for the senator's candidness.
In Gehrke's and Levin's words, here's the gist:
A top Senate Democrat lent credibility to conservative efforts to block President Obama’s pending administrative amnesty, explaining that Congress has the authority to withhold funding for presidential initiatives.So if you're going to be phoning and faxing the offices of Republican House members in coming days to urge that they Do Something! that will monkey-wrench the alien-in-chief's planned executive amnesty, make sure to remind them about this basic legislative strategy.
“It happens all the time,” retiring Senator Carl Levin (D., Mich.) told National Review Online while walking through the Capitol Thursday evening.
Levin emphasized the distinction between shutting down the government, as happened last year, and refusing to appropriate money for something.
“That’s not uncommon that there’s amendments saying ‘none of the funds in this appropriation bill may be spent for’ — fill in the blank,” Levin said.
So the sensible suggestions to make in such calls and faxes are:
1. Fund the national government, via a continuing resolution [CR], only until mid-January. (Nothing but a "clean" CR, without such defunding, will get through the lame-duck Senate, still under Harry Reid's death grip.)Republican geldings then needn't fear that they'll be scapegoated for — The Horror — a "government shutdown."
2. Then, in January, pass legislation that funds the government while specifically denying money to any agencies that would implement the mass amnesty. i.e. Furlough workers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services until further notice!
This is essentially the strategy that Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies recently outlined ...
[I]n the next Congress, the House could pull out the Homeland Security budget (rather than fold it into an omnibus funding bill for the whole government) and attach the rider just to that, so when Obama vetoes it, only DHS will be subject to a “shutdown.” The reason for the quotation marks is that it won’t be much of a shutdown since law-enforcement components continue to function as “essential personnel,” including the Border Patrol, the Secret Service, the Coast Guard, ICE, and the TSA. In fact, the chief component of DHS that actually would be idled by a budget battle would be US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the very bureau that would have to implement Obama’s lawless amnesty.... but now it's been endorsed by Democratic pooh-bah Carl Levin!
This creates a Catch 22 for Obama, if only the GOP has the wit to exploit it — if he signs a DHS budget with the rider prohibiting his amnesty, then it doesn’t happen (though he would still be able to implement certain other parts of his lawless plan). But if he vetoes it, the agency that he needs to process the amnesty is furloughed, so the amnesty still doesn’t happen.
[A Vote for a Long-Term Budget Is a Vote for Amnesty, National Review Online, November 13, 2014]